21 December 2020 | 12 minutes.

How public finance supports Africa's circular transformation

Anthony Nyong
Director of Climate Change & Green Growth - African Development Bank

Anthony Nyong, Director of Climate Change & Green Growth - African Development Bank

In partnership with ACEA

REVOLVE Circular met up with Dr Anthony Nyong, Director of Climate Change and Green Growth at the African Development Bank (AfDB). In this position, Dr. Nyong is also responsible for the secretariat of the African Circular Economy Alliance (ACEA).

ACEA is the African Circular Economy Alliance, a government-led coalition of African nations and global partners committed to advancing the circular economy transition at the national, regional and continental levels. Today, the ACEA serves as a centralized platform for knowledge-sharing and best practices identification, the creation of enabling legal and regulatory frameworks, as well as the building of partnerships for financing and the creation of circular economy projects in Africa. The Alliance is open to membership from public sector entities, international organizations, funding institutions and research centres. The ACEA Secretariat is hosted by the African Development Bank with support from the World Economic Forum.

Dr Nyong, tell us a bit about how ACEA came to be? Is it correct to say that the governments of South Africa, Nigeria and Rwanda were the driving forces? Which other countries are already involved?

Yes, that is correct. The African Circular Economy Alliance (ACEA) was founded by three countries: Rwanda, Nigeria, and South Africa who currently serve as the Co-chairs of the Alliance. It was conceived in 2016 during the World Economy Forum on Africa in Kigali and formally launched at the COP 23 in Bonn in 2017. This year, Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire joined the Alliance and other countries such as Niger, Senegal, Malawi, Cameroon, and the DR Congo have indicated an interest to join.

The COVID-19 pandemic has not only presented health challenges but has also led to unprecedented economic and societal challenges for which circular economy solutions can serve to curb.

The main aim of the Alliance is to provide a platform where members can support the transition to a circular economy at the national, regional and continental levels that delivers economic growth, jobs and positive environmental outcomes. The objectives of the alliance include the sharing of best practices for the creation of legal and regulatory frameworks, the building of partnerships and the financing and creation of circular economy projects, as well as mainstreaming circularity into national development strategies and plans. Furthermore, we advocate and raise awareness on the circular economy and mobilise concessional finance for new projects and partnerships within individual or multiple African countries.

FEATURE IMAGE: Transport Facilitation programme for corridors between Chad, Cameroon and the Central African Republic. Photo: African Development Bank